is a small object measuring 2 to 3 cm long that the doctor inserts into
the uterine cavity. It is made of white polyethylene (a type of plastic),
a double thread knotted on its inferior ends enables control of its
position and its removal (the threads go past the col of the uterus
and can be felt with the fingers). The IUD's presence prevents fertilization
by causing a slight inflammation of the uterus' mucous membrane (but
the woman doesn't feel it).
There are several forms of IUDs (T-shape, spiral…). Certain IUDs are
sheathed in copper (the copper filament is toxic for the spermatozoids);
others contain progesterone (which blocks the development of the uterus'
The IUD should be replaced every 3 or 4 years.
In France, this method is not proposed to women who have not given birth.
Reliability: reliable but statistically inferior to the pill
(rare risk of extra-uterine pregnancy).
Advantages: Once inserted, its protection is permanent; the cycle
stays spontaneous without metabolic repercussions. The woman fitted
with an IUD doesn't have to do anything. However, it is advised to regularly
verify the presence and the length of the threads when washing yourself.
Inconveniences: after insertion, you may feel some discomfort
which can last for several cycles. IUDs which contain progesterone can
cause amenorrhea (absence of period), which can cause concern: if this
happens, take a pregnancy test or consult your doctor.